By: Ariana Palmieri
Confession: I've never had much luck curling my hair. The problem with it? My hair is actually quite thin, even though I have a lot of it. I'm not complaining, but my hair doesn't hold curls very well: They're usually gone in an hour or two. But not when I got my hair done at The Secret Garden Spa. During their event,"Bloomin' Beauty Inside and Out", on February 15th, event goers could get thermal hair curling, blowouts, and a facial peel at a discount! The eco-friendly spa hosted the event to celebrate the opening of their new glam lounge, located on their second floor. Vivian Pisano, owner of The Secret Garden Spa, is very earth-conscious, so she renovated the place with beautiful vintage furniture (some of which she refurbished herself). Not only did the entire second floor look stunning, but there were so many people getting all-natural spa treatments. Naturally, I had to join in the fun, so I got my hair thermally curled by one of their insanely talented hair stylists, Alyssa Locasto. And guess what? The curls lasted all night (mind you the event was from 6 - 8:30 p.m.). Suffice it to say, I was impressed.
|Just look at those curls! So cute and loaded with volume.|
But having long-lasting curls was far from the only impressive thing that night. I got to see the new lounge up close and personal! Located on the second floor of the spa, the new glam lounge has several different rooms: One for makeup application and hair styling, another for relaxing, and yet another for manicures and pedicures. The third room also leads to three other mini rooms: Vivian told me a lot of massage, body, and skincare treatments occur in those smaller rooms. That's definitely true, considering one of those mini rooms was occupied the entire night (people were getting their discounted facial peels done in there)! Overall, the whole area is pretty expansive: Looking at the building from the outside, you'd never guess there were so many floors and rooms in the spa! Want to see how glamorous this new lounge is? Check out the photos below!
"Bloomin' Beauty Inside and Out":
The Glam Lounge Reveal
Here's the part of the lounge where you do just that: lounge. It's where everyone just kind of took a breather, sat down, chatted, drank a few champagne cocktails, and ate some delicious finger food.
Here's the room I got my hair curled in. Also, to the left, you can see the "makeup bar". The Secret Garden Spa offers a wide selection of Jane Iredale makeup, an all-natural brand known as the pioneer of mineral makeup.
Over the course of the night, a lot of people came in here to get their hair styled, as well as consult with one of the makeup artists on sight, Dominique Scotto (in the photo above). Towards the end of the night, Dominique applied some Jane Iredale concealer to my face, just to test it out. Similar to me, Dominique doesn't like using foundation either. The concealer she applied felt very nice on my skin and super light! If you're curious, here's the one she used on me.
The Life of the Party: Who I Met
I love meeting new people, but not many share my passion for the environment. That wasn't the case here though: Everyone was very earth-conscious and healthy! I was very impressed with the level of depth these people had and the strives they were making to better the world. Want to meet them for yourself? I don't blame you.
Owner of The Secret Garden Spa, Vivian was the mastermind behind the entire event. Before this event, I met Vivian once before and truly admire her ethics. "Being eco-friendly was always a way of life for me," said Vivian, "my parents being from another culture...we grew up reusing and making everything from scratch, food, skin products, furniture." Her upbringing helped create the person she is today: A total earth-conscious person making amazing eco-friendly strides for the environment! She told me having children made her even more conscious about the environment, since she wants the world left for them to be at its best. That's why she decided to open up The Secret Garden Spa (it's literally the only eco-friendly salon on Staten Island). Considering her salon has denim insulation, no VOC paint, bamboo flooring and recycled furniture, I'd say she's doing a great job. Not to mention the salon made the switch to wind-powered electricity through their electric company! And one more amazing thing: She also has her own organic skincare and makeup line! "I started a line of organic skincare and makeup called Bloomin' Beauty with my husband, a pharmacist," said Vivian. The skincare products range from eye serums to rose facial mists and are all created with natural ingredients. The makeup is too, and she offers a wide range of products in that line as well, such as lipstick, lipgloss, and foundation. It's only available for purchase at The Secret Garden Spa though, so definitely go there to check it out!
"My mission at the salon is be the best version of yourself inside and out," said Vivian. "We have seasonal staff meetings with a holistic nutritionist to educate them on proper nutrition for better choices. This helps with staff and client conversations being directed on inner beauty as well as outer." Vivian clearly cares about the health and wellbeing of not just the earth, but her clients as well. During the event, she was very attentive and made sure everyone was having a great time. From setting up the food and drink, to making sure everyone got what they ordered (blowouts, facial peels, etc.), Vivian was a busy bee! Still, she made sure to talk to everyone at the event. I noticed all the event goers seemed to have a great relationship with Vivian and were on a first name basis with her. I guess that has a lot to do with the fact Vivian doesn't run an average salon: She runs a sanctuary. "I really want to create an experience not just of vanity," said Vivian. And from the looks of all the happy faces that night, she's accomplishing her goal beautifully.
Bailey Frumen, a therapist, author and speaker, was at the event too! She recently self-published book her own book called "Own Your Power," which I completely admire. As a writer, I truly appreciate all my fellow writers, and know the struggles, accomplishments, and rewards that come with it. Event goers had the opportunity to not only talk to Bailey, but also buy her book (usually $17, discounted to $12), and have her sign it too! Super cool, right? If you're interested in her book, be sure to check it out here. What makes it so unique is that it's also a workbook (you can write in it and actively apply the tips Bailey teaches you throughout the book). Awesome, right? Bailey has also written for Elephant Journal (one of my personal faves), Aspire Magazine, and even Huffington Post! To me, that's goals right there. She's written for a ton load of other publications too: You can view them all here. When she's not writing, she's probably coaching (or at an event - similar to this one). Bailey is renown for her coaching work: She works with women all the time to teach them how to finally gain freedom, fun, and clarity in their lives. She herself struggled with that at one point. According to her website, just a few years ago, she was working 3 jobs, 12-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. Just take a moment to imagine that (makes me shudder just thinking about it). Obviously, Bailey felt very disconnected with herself. She was unhappy and even her sleeping schedule was affected (due to being stressed, fried and frustrated.) But the good news? She made a change, and now, she's as happy as can be. She worked less hours, focused on her own health, and found her passion. Now, she's ready to help other women to do the same. Her life goal is to help others accomplish their dreams and truly love themselves (I think that's just the sweetest thing). Truth is, she's literally just as sweet as she sounds. When I was talking to her at the event, she was nothing but compassionate, positive, and motivational. I usually don't trust any "life coaching" seminars, sessions, or courses, but if it's from Bailey, I'd highly recommend it. After meeting her in person and seeing she's as legitimate as can be, I'd definitely recommend her services. Want to learn more? Don't forget to check out her website for more information!
I also got to chat up Drema Lindie, a holistic health practitioner and yoga teacher, at the event. Drema is filled with so much knowledge, not only on yoga, but on what your body needs to be balanced. She teaches yoga classes at The Secret Garden Spa on Wednesdays (9:30 a.m.), Thursdays ( 5 p.m.), and Saturdays (9 a.m.). The classes on Wednesday and Saturday are very energetic and filled with an eclectic mix of "static poses, pranayam, contemplation, relaxation and meditation", according to her site. She also just started teaching a teen yoga class for teens and young adults (in their 20s) on Thursdays (6:30 p.m.). This class is designed to de-stress the practitioners involved: It's made up of 50 percent yoga movement and 50 percent guided meditation and deep relaxation. Sounds nice to me! I could use some of that for sure. Each class costs only $12 (pretty sweet deal, huh?) and lasts for about an hour and 15 minutes (she said she usually goes a little over this time though). She also teaches at Wagner College (my old stomping ground!) from time to time. You can check out her full yoga teaching schedule here. And just in case you were wondering, Drema is more than qualified to teach these classes: Drema has been studying yoga and nutrition since 1997 (back when I was only 3! I'm 22 now, FYI). She also has private nutrition consultations at The Secret Garden Spa to help people with their individual nutritional needs. Each program she creates for her clients is as unique as the clients themselves. She can help find the root cause of any nutritional stress you might be having from the consultation and a series of investigations. After she's learned enough about what your specific needs are, she will make suggestions, recommendations and come up with an individualized plan of action to support your body (and spirit). Your body may need dietary modification, and/or supplemental support: It all depends on the individual. If any of this interests you, feel free to check out her website for more information. Be sure to send her a text before heading to one of her yoga sessions though! She's quite popular, so her class might already be full.
Cara Lanzi, owner of Simply Honest Kitchen and private chef, catered some finger food for the event (you can see what she brought in the picture below). Trust me when I say her food is delish. She's pretty inspirational too, and just by talking to her, I knew she was a rarity. She's the owner of Staten Island's first sustainable catering and private chef service (aka Simply Honest Kitchen). Think about that. What a pioneer! When I asked her what drove her to choose this occupation, she told me "there was a need for it." And I can't agree more. Staten Island isn't exactly known for its sustainable cooking (especially not vegan food). In fact, I don't think there's any vegan restaurants on Staten Island (though vegans could surely find all the supplies they need to make at-home meals on the island via a grocery store). That said, Cara's catering service, Simply Honest Kitchen, doesn't only serve vegan food: It caters to any diet whether it be vegetarian, gluten-free, or paleo. Simply Honest Kitchen only uses the best (organic, grass-fed, pastured, non-GMO, never processed, seasonal) ingredients for their clients. And trust me when I say, Cara knows what she's doing: She graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. So if you'd like to try out her services, make sure you check out her menus! She can cater anything from special events to office parties. She also offers private chef services which take care of your meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking based on your dietary needs.
Cara Lanzi supplied these goodies for the event. Completely vegan and gluten-free, these chocolate chip chickpea cookie bites were to die for. I must have had, like, ten. It's safe to say these went fast.
Want to see more pictures?
Check out these pictures I took of the new glam lounge! If you'd like to see it for yourself, be sure to head over to The Secret Garden Spa, located at 702 Forest Ave., Staten Island, New York.
Digging the vintage furniture and lighting.
Love this: "You should always feel pretty". That would be nice!
Two event goers, Christina, left, and Vanessa enjoy a sit down. I spy a champagne cocktail in Christina's hand.
Here was just some of the finger foods offered: Crackers and strawberries. Later, more came (like cheese, grapes, etc).
One of my favorite shots. I took this while I was sitting down, about to get my hair curled!
The decorations were on point. So stunning. And as you can probably spy, there were some cookies on that table too.
How cute is that "Love" pillow? Also, that couch was really comfy to sit on.
Vivian Pisano made sure there was no shortage of champagne cocktails at this party! She filled up one in this picture, but trust me, they were all full in a matter of minutes (and gone in seconds). She made the cocktails using organic tea (raspberry rose hibiscus - available for purchase in the salon) and champagne.
Such beautiful lighting right? Love the rose accent at the top.
The Secret Garden Spa also sells handmade jewelry from local crafters! How gorgeous are these pieces? Totally fits the vintage theme.
Thermal hair curling tool!
Me, having one of Vivian's hand-poured champagne cocktails. Yum! Hope you enjoyed these photos. Want to see the lounge for yourself? Schedule your next appointment at The Secret Garden Spa here, or call (718) 815-5900! Who knows, maybe I'll see you there!